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As I was brainstorming what this ole blog should be all about I thought of the idea of a monthly series taking a closer look at what makes an area of a home successful, both practically and aesthetically speaking. And so the Anatomy of… series is born. For the inaugural post I could think of no other space to break down to start us off with than the entryway. I absolutely love a good entry! It really sets the tone of the home and it's a real chance to show off your style. But it also has a very clear agenda and how to incorporate the two is what what I'm here to do. First I’m gonna break it down for you Gilded Hearth style (aka straight to the point) and then I'm going to show you some entryways that hit a home run by making good use of these elements.
Key Element- Storage
Whether it be shoes, keys, backpacks, dog leashes etc we all have some similar items we need to ditch as soon as we walk thru the door so the rest of our home can stay organized and we aren’t spending 20 minutes searching for our keys making us late for drop offs/ work/ meetings/ pilates... you get my point. Every homes needs may differ slightly here depending on where you enter, how much space you have, and even the climate but we can all agree some form of storage is always needed.
Key Element- A rug or runner
These days target makes some pretty cute doormats you can place outside your home but incorporating a runner or rug in the entryway is a great way to keep the dirt and dust from tracking all over the rest of you home. It also the perfect opportunity to set your color palette. If you want to know where to find some great options check my last post on rugs.
Key Element- The Statement Piece
This is one you may be thinking what the heck is she talking about? Well a grand mirror to check your messy bun as you head out the door, or that fab gallery wall of your thrift art or that mid-century wardrobe that’s running double duty as your closet because you weren’t gifted one in your home by the closet fairies. What ever it is, make it a piece that speaks to you and the kind of company you want to keep. It will make you smile each time you cross that threshold and it’s little things like this that make a house a home.
Key Element- Decor Details
A wise man, ahem Charles Eames, once said, “The Details are not the details they are the design” and he knew what he was talking about. So don’t do a boring! Yes that entry is often just a place you ditch your keys after the day from hell or the kids muddy boots after a stomp in the puddles but it says, WELCOME TO OUR HOME and do you really want to come across as plain? Heck no! You want to come across as stylish and put together even if you haven't showered in a week and you forget what day it is. So you know that gallery wall you didn’t know where to put or that beautiful new vase you scored at Home Goods? Yeah, well put it here. Wow yourself and your guests when you walk thru that front door! Ditch Plain Jane and say Hello to Sassy Sally! Cool?
Key Element- The Front Door
Everyone has one. Some people think long and hard before they choose a door and some well, it’s been there since they bought the house and there hasn’t been much thought to it except does it keep bad men out and heat in. But don’t miss this opportunity to take the entryway way up a notch! Dark doors are a great way to really bring interest to a space as well as give a sense of depth and contrast. It's also a great way to bring in the colors or your home or your patio. Guess that means it's time to go paint shopping people! And don’t forget the hardware not all handles are created equal! Just cause you need a deadbolt doesn’t mean your door needs to look like a you’re trying to keep Frankenstein in, even if your children are lil monsters constantly scratching at the door trying to get out like mine.
So now we got all the working parts of our entryway let Doctor Emily (Thats me BTW) show you you how it all works together with some fab real life entries.
This is so far from boring am I right? Medina at Grillo Designs did a great post about this space you can check out for more details. What I love about this space is she uses a practical rug like a jute to keep all the nasties at bay and she has taken an ikea cabinet and put it to good use for all her storage needs as well as left a space underneath perfect for ditching your shoes in exchange for your slippers. Again we see the ole accordion hook showing cause its so dang cute but so useful too. The look of the interior door matching the stair trim is always winning combo, and one I urge you to try if you want to take some risks. But how is this wall design for a statement am I right? Doesn't it make you wanna go sharpie your walls? Ok maybe that is too risky, but try some wallpaper or stencils instead!
Lea over at Creekwoodhill has really created such a soothing and practical Modern Farmhouse entryway. First can we all swoon over this vintage locker for a second? This is what form and function are all about! Imagine how you could have a perfect place for mittens, scarves, junk mail and or even the perfect place to store all that wrapping paper you've hoarding. Smaller spaces don't always allow for large benches but you can usually sneak in a cute thrifted chair and how about these darling hooks ehh? Practical rug option box also ticked off and these details? Greenery and a great personal print are the icing on this entry cake!
My girl Brit, a fiber artist extraordinaire, has really packed a wallop in her small entryway. Put can we start with the fact that she has a pink front door? See people, bold choices pay off! I also love the stenciled street numbers here and this is an easy DIY even you could attempt. It will have everyone in the neighborhood saying, "Wow the, insert last name here, are so stylish! Here Brit brings the entry into the rest of the space which is what you need to really pay attention to when you are small space living so that the flow isn't stagnant. Her closet takes care of her storage needs so this one is all about making it pretty and sure as heck does!
Basically Anissa at House Seven Design can do no wrong. Her style is as killer as her talent. She has elevated the entry of this space in so many ways but what I see here is more than just a beauty, it has purpose. Huge baskets for storing shoes or what not, a decorative bowl that makes the perfect key drop, and a large mirror for painting your pout before heading out. (You like that Rhyming right?!) Add some greenery and organic lamps that really bring the natural texture of the floors in and you have a recipe for Perfection!
You know how I was saying about how the entry is the place to really showcase your style and set the tone of your home? Well just take your notes from Kristin here. Utilizing the wall space for an eclectic gallery or photo wall is one of the best uses of space. She has really highlighted her taste and made use of the entryway by putting this vintage armoire to work to create a make shift closet. The bench makes for a great statement piece and is still practical especially with this indoor/ outdoor rug. And she took her door up a notch by going black, and like our other friend, matching it to the stair trim. Doesn't this entryway make you want to see her entire home? That is what it's all about people you want to bring people in with an ooh and an ahh, make them curious as to what is behind door number two. But most importantly design your entryway to meet your needs with style.
I hope you found this helpful! Now what should I do next month's Anatomy Of Series on? Let me know in the comments!
If you want to know where you are probably failing in your own home design its most likely in the rug area. In most homes people are using rugs too small for their space, made of cheap materials or quite simply they are missing a chance to really set the tone of the room with something that can make one of the biggest impacts. Sourcing a rug is usually something I spend more time on than any other item in the design. If you feel your sofa or bed is the most important item in your room fine, but move the rug up to the second slot in order of importance and you may find that your space finally has that Wow factor you were missing.
So let’s first start with size shall we. Chances are many of you have a rug too small for the space, when it comes to rugs bigger is almost always bigger. Does this mean you have to break the bank to make it work? No but I will get to that. What it does mean is you need to make an effort to have has many legs of your furniture fit on the rug. Best case scenario every leg of you all your furniture in a given room fits onto your area rug. If not our runner up is all the front legs. But please please please stop all this floating furniture where we have a rug just plopped down in the middle of the room. I’d rather see no rug than this kind of look where its just too small!
Another thing to note is round rugs are meant for round rooms or round dining tables. If neither of these apply to you don’t buy a round rug. I know a few people who can pull off the round rug in a rectangle room but they are few and far between and its best left to the experts. When working in smaller spaces orientate the rug to the room. This may mean flipping it in a way you previously wouldn't thought of. A rug defines the space, so its better to be cozy then spread half way across a room just because you want to fill it, let the rug help you do so.
Here is a great visual by the talented Shannon at Home Made Lovely that will help you wrap your head around all of this.
Do yourself and your family a favor and let the first thing you do is check the material of the rug you’re thinking of purchasing. And I’m going to make this easy for you, unless its wool, cotton, jute, sisal or hemp don’t buy it. There isn’t that easy. Yes that means no rayon, no polyester, and please please NO POLYPROPYLENE. Guys I know this seems like it takes out every cheap rug on the market but I promise you its worth it. I don’t want to go into detail but these synthetic rugs can off gas for years pouring pretty toxic chemicals into your homes, what they are treated with is petroleum need I say more? It truly is not worth it to save a few bucks. The ONLY time to buy synthetic is for outdoor rugs.
Lesson here is natural is always better and when it comes to best wool for the win every single time. Jute and cotton coming in second and they can come as cheaply as your synthetic rugs too. Wool just really stands the test of time and investing in a good wool rug will save you money in the long run. There are rugs you can find still kicking after a 100 years looking gorgeous. Imagine how many foot steps that is over one rug! Try that on your polypropylene rug, I dare you, it won’t last five years let alone 100.
So now how do you not break the bank once I have taken away synthetic and small choices? Well that is easy, you layer of course! The easiest way to do so is a larger (8x10 or 9x12) jute rug layered with another on top, done and done. The trick to layering is trying to keep the piles similar. You don’t want to put something too thick on top of something else very thick. And always use a rug pad under the bottom rug. It can save your floors and possibly prevent a few broken bones when you lose it slipping and landing on the coffee table. Also don't discount a rug simply because you have wall to wall carpeting. In fact as comfy as carpet is, it's usually pretty boring so you should be laying rugs more than anyone, and you already have the bottom layer so you're ahead of the game no excuses!
Now that we got the basics down where to do you go to find great rugs? Well aren’t you lucky you found me, because I'm going to point you in the right direction. First off if you want a huge selection of classic geometric patterns, great jute options, all the well known brands all at a great price then Rugs USA is a safe bet. You can search by size, color, material and more making it a great place to nail the right rug for your space. There is no shortage of fun boho styles as well as super traditional rugs so what ever your fancy this is usually my go to source for clients.
So we all know Scandinavian design is where its at when it comes to furniture but did you know they also do rugs with equal attention to style? This Swedish company (yes they ship to the US & Canada) has some vintage rugs but what I am seriously swooning over is their Modern Kilim selection. If you want that neutral layered look in your home with just a bit of edge then you want to point your browser to Rug Vista. Perfect for those that yearn for that Scandi Hygge look or a Modern Rustic vibe.
This company has a much smaller collection than the others but every rug is special when I get the client who's not afraid color or pattern and has a fashion forward sense of style this is one of my first stops, Aelfie. They are really killer in kids spaces or to perk up an office and help set your productivity levels to hyper speed. Risk takers you are welcome.
Another great source for a mix of vintage and custom rugs is Kilim. They have some real stunners especially in the runner category and many which you can customize the size which is a really helpful option. They also carry some Tulu's which are the colorful shaggy rugs and can be hard to come by these babies are so fun to perk up a space! There is a lot here so its best to go in with an idea of what you may be looking for. The entry in the opening photo has a beautiful floral motif runner I about died when I found it, does it get any more beautiful than that, I think not!